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A variation, recorded since 1801, of clutter, itself from clot, from Old English clott (round mass, lump), from Proto-Germanic *klūtaz (hence cognate with Dutch kloot (ball, testicle), Danish klods (a block, lump) and German Klotz (lump, block)).



clowder (plural clowders)

  1. A group of cats or other small felines.
    • 1984 15 April, Nelson Bryant, “Bevies of Terms Befuddle Prides”, in The New York Times:
      A Brooklyn friend who persists in feeding the host of creatures - including me - who appear at her door will be delighted to know that the most nonchalant recipients of her largesse may be referred to as a clowder of cats.
    • 2007, Kathryn Soper, Cat Wrangling Made Easy:
      Real cat fights are rare in established clowders. So instead of risking serious injury, cats resort to menace and threats.
    • 2010, The Big Bang Theory, episode “The Zazzy Substitution
      Leonard: You’re clearly upset about Amy being gone, and you’re trying to replace her with a bunch of cats.
      Sheldon: Clowder.
      Leonard: What?
      Sheldon: A group of cats is a clowder. Or a glaring. It’s the kind of thing you ought to know now that we have one.
    • 2011, M.D. Pueppke, Fuzzy the Cat, The One and Only, “Getting on terms with the terms
      How ‛bout organizing a party of clowder chowder. You know, big servings of chowder for the cat clowder.


  • (collective noun for “cats”): glaring


  • (collective noun for “cats”): kindle (group of kittens)


See also[edit]